My Bitmoji

If I do anything fun with social media, I have my teenage daughter to thank. She’s the one who put the GIF app on my phone and helped me get an “avatar emoji” known as bitmoji. Without her, I would be helplessly uninformed about these and other features of communicating in the 21st century. My bitmoji is […]

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When it Comes to Words Per Minute, Less is More

“The Power of Handwriting,” a recent Wall Street Journal article by Robert Lee Hotz, argues what many teachers already believe: that students who handwrite their notes learn better than those who type. According to Hotz, faster note-taking does not correlate with deeper or even adequate understanding of the material. Researchers have found that “the very feature that […]

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When I Grow Up…

I recently went to the annual National Association of Independent Schools conference, where over 5000 administrators and teachers heard from speakers like Randi Zuckerberg, author of Dot.Complicated (and sister of Mark), and Jaime Casap , Google’s “education evangelist.” Unsurprisingly, they emphasized the amazing potential of technology to help us do everything we do, including school, better. But amid all […]

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Powering Up and Down

After a unanimous vote by the Academic Council a few weeks ago, our school decided to do a “Power Down Day” with students. No devices in classrooms (we are 1-1) and no cellphones in free time (we have an otherwise open policy). We wanted to see what would happen if we didn’t use technology in […]

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Look at Us

Jennifer Egan is one of my favorite contemporary authors. I loved A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Keep, and I think her short story in the form of tweets, “Black Box,” is one of the more brilliant feats of creative writing. After reading a recent article that captured a great conversation between Egan and George Saunders  (“Choose Your Own […]

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All Kinds of Minds

At the NAIS People of Color Conference in Tampa last week, I heard the amazing Dr. Mae Jemison talk to over 4000 teachers and students about 100 Year Starship, a project dedicated to making “the capability of human travel beyond our solar system a reality within the next 100 years.” Beyond the obvious challenges of distance and […]

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Sufjan, Salman & Me

I’m not the first and won’t be the last to say this: it’s different, and usually better, seeing an artist on stage than watching that same person on screen. This week, I was up close and personal with two virtuoso performers, Sufjan Stevens and Salman Rushdie, on back-to-back nights. Stevens took the stage shrouded in […]

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Get Proximate

Frank Bruni’s recent New York Times editorial, “An Ivy League Twist,” discussed a new initiative from more than 80 colleges, including all eight in the Ivy Leagues, to try to support candidates from diverse backgrounds in their college application processes. Students who may not have college advisors, like their more privileged peers usually do, will be able […]

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About Face

Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together, was important to me and my work on digital citizenship at my school. She made a strong argument for the power of face to face communication and the potential hazards for people steeped in digital media — most primarily the loss of empathy. I’m now waiting anxiously for Turkle’s new book, Reclaiming […]

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